After suffering arguably the worst loss in school history last Saturday to Iowa State, 38-31, the Oklahoma Sooners need a bounce-back effort in the worst way.
What better opportunity to do so than by knocking off a bitter rival and sending the Texas Longhorns (3-2, 2-0) back to .500 on the season? While the Red River Showdown is an intense battle that calls for records and rankings to be tossed aside, the No. 12 Sooners do stand as 7.5-point favorites entering the weekend.
If Oklahoma does, in fact, get back into the win column on Saturday against the Longhorns, it will likely be courtesy of a strong showing from quarterback Baker Mayfield, as noted by Bleacher Report:
“This is a battle between teams that were on the wrong end of two of the most shocking upsets of the season — Texas lost its season opener to Maryland and Oklahoma was knocked off by Iowa State last Saturday. The Sooners darn near messed around and lost their previous game against Baylor, too, as their secondary has become a major red flag. But in what could be a shootout between a true freshman QB in Sam Ehlinger and one of the most efficient QBs in the history of the sport, we’ve got to go with Baker Mayfield.
Prediction: Oklahoma 43, Texas 34
Much like Texas, Oklahoma will arrive in Dallas a bit banged up. Even with a healthy Shane Buechele, though, it seems likely that freshman Sam Ehlinger gets the start for Texas, which history says should end well for the Sooners. With a far more experienced option behind center, Oklahoma boasts one of the nation’s most potent offenses, which will be pitted against an improved Texas defense.
If Oklahoma can turn the Cotton Bowl into a shootout, the Sooners’ chances of exiting at 5-1 increase significantly. As Bleacher Report projected, that’s more likely to happen than not with Mayfield manning the offense.